One of the real consequences of economic problems is that people can’t afford to feed their families due to a job crisis. Statistics from the USDA showed that 14.2 percent of the U.S. population was using food stamps in February 2011 or around 44.2 million total. The number was at 33 million just two years before in 2009. That number has risen to over 45 million in 2012. In 2006, the year prior to the financial crisis, only 26.5 million people were participating in the food stamp program, which eventually became the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in 2008. As food stamps grew more popular, it was apparent that some states had it worse than others. These states are the top five whose residents depend the most on SNAP.
Mississippi is one of the poorest states and also has a high percentage of its population who depend on food stamps to live. About 20.7 percent need live off of food stamps in Mississippi. That’s an annual change of 8.4 percent. A total of 2,967,297 live in Mississippi as of the 2010 census.
In the northeast, Oregon tops the food stamp list. About 20.1 percent of the state’s population requires food stamps to get by. Its annual change is actually higher than Mississippi at 9.6 percent. As of the 2010 census, there were a total of 3,831,074 people living in Oregon.
The second state in the south to be suffering during the economic crisis is Tennessee. With a total population of 6.2 million, this southern central state provides food stamps to 19.8 percent of its residents. The annual change for Tennessee is quite high at 17.9 percent, indicating that severe economic changes have created a true need for this assistance program.
4. New Mexico
In the western south, New Mexico has a population of 2,059,179 with 19.8 percent of its population on food stamps. That’s an annual change of 17.9 percent, the same as Tennessee.
There have been some harrowing stories to come out of this once prosperous state. Films like Roger and Me about Flint, Michigan have captured the essence of what happened to some parts of this northern Midwest state. The percent of the state of michigan’s population on food stamps is 19.7 percent with 11.4 percent annual change. Michigan has a much higher population than other top states on this list with 9,883,640 residents.